Weekly Current Affairs

Draft Ganga Act to draw from Highways Act [Governance]

  • A first-of-its-kind bill to regulate a river — the Ganga Act, as it is now called and being drafted by experts — will draw from the National Highways Act and allow the Centre final say over States during disputes over management of its water.
  • The National Highways Authority of India Act empowers the Central government to have complete power over roads designated as “national highways.”
  • It also gives them authority over bridges, culverts and associated land stretches near highways.
  • The Union Water Resources Ministry is the nodal agency in charge of implementing the Rs. 20,000-crore National Clean Ganga Mission by 2022, and has so far spent only around Rs. 320 crore, despite Rs. 2,000 crore being sanctioned.
  • Nearly 70% of the budget is to be apportioned for commissioning sewage treatment plants.
  • The proposed Ganga Act was to ensure that future disputes that could arise in the proper management of the river were avoided.